* Common name: Red-twig dogwood
* Botanical name: Cornus stolonifera
* What it is: A multi-stemmed shrub that gets white clusters in summer, followed by small black fruits. But the main attraction is the bright red stems that are best and brightest when leaves drop in fall. Looks great in snow.
* Size: 6 feet tall and wide.
* Where to use: Back border in front of a line of evergreens. The green backdrop really makes the red stems stand out. Red-twigs also do well in sometimes-damp spots in full sun – conditions that either fry or root-rot lesser plants. Sun or part shade.
* Care: Let bare red stems up all winter, then cut the whole plant to a stub at winter’s end. That encourages all new growth, which produces the brightest red color in fall. Water the first year, then watering needed only in a bad drought. Fertilizer usually not needed.
* Great partner: Arborvitae, spruce or fir backdrop. Winterberry holly is a good neighbor.